Lumo Energy pays penalty for alleged energy offer misrepresentations

6 June 2017

Energy retailer Lumo Energy Australia Pty Ltd (Lumo) has paid a penalty of $10,800 after being issued with an infringement notice by the ACCC.

The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Lumo had contravened the Australian Consumer Law by making a false or misleading representation about energy discounts.

Lumo made a representation on its website in February 2017 that consumers, including those outside of Victoria, could save 33 per cent off their total electricity bill and 17 per cent off their total gas bill if they switched to Lumo.

In fact, these discounts were only available to residents of Victoria. Maximum discounts for electricity were substantially less in other states. In addition, Lumo does not offer gas outside Victoria.

“Discounted energy plans are very attractive to many Australians who are trying to reduce their energy bills,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“It is vitally important that any representations made to consumers about discounts are accurate and relevant to them, so that people can make informed decisions about their choice of energy retailer and feel confident in those choices.”

“Consumer confidence can lead to increased switching between retailers, and better competition within the energy market as a whole,” Ms Court said. 

Consumers are encouraged to visit the AER’s independent price comparator website, Energy Made Easy , to help find a better energy deal. Victorian consumers can visit the Victorian Government’s independent, price comparison site Victorian Energy Compare to find the best deal to suit their energy needs.

Notes to editors

The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

Background 

Lumo is a retail energy provider wholly owned by Snowy Hydro Limited. At the time of making the statement, Lumo offered electricity to consumers in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, and gas to consumers in Victoria.

The ACCC has commenced an inquiry into retail electricity pricing, which will examine the representation of prices to consumers, amongst other issues. Further information is at https://www.accc.gov.au/regulated-infrastructure/energy/electricity-supply-prices-inquiry

Release number: 
MR 84/17
ACCC Infocentre: 

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